Summer Safety Tips To Prevent Swimming Deaths
We look at swimming as not only being fun, but as an escape from the sweltering heat. But a swimming pool, or natural body of water, can be deadly for unattended children as well.
As a matter of fact, since 2000, the Department of Children and Family Services has investigated 57 accidental deaths caused by drowning in an outdoor body of water. On average, four Louisiana children die each year in pools, lakes rivers, canals, ponds and ditches.
"With Louisiana's hot summers, many of our families spend significant time in the water," said Sonnier. "It's important to know the risks and recognize when a swimmer needs help. Parental supervision is a crucial precaution to ensure a child's safety while swimming."
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between one and four years old and is the third leading cause of death among children older than four. Drowning incidents can also increase up to 89 percent during the summer months, as compared with the rest of the year.
Safe Kids Worldwide offers the following swimming safety tips:
- Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention.
- When there are several adults present and children are swimming, prevent lapses in supervision by establishing "shifts" that designate a single adult who will watch the children in the water for a certain period of time, like 15 minutes.
- Whether you're swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with a partner, every time. From the start, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
- Educate your children about the dangers of drain entanglement and entrapment and teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.
- Look, don't just listen. Many times, a person in drowning distress is calm and quiet under the water, not thrashing at the top.
- Remove all toys from the pool area when it's not in use to keep children from going near the area.
- If you are the pool's owner, install a four-foot-high fence around all sides of the pool, along with a locked gate that's beyond a child's reach.
- Learn CPR.
Lindsey deBlieux from the Department of Children and Family Services was a guest on "Your Afternoon Drive Home" on Newstalk 96.5 FM KPEL. CLICK BELOW to listen to her interview with Brandon Comeaux on this topic: